On February, 2016, OMSCo (the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative) announced that their, two-year project to raise iodine levels in organic milk is successful.
The cooperative have initiated this project in 2014 to increase the iodine levels in organic milk and applied these to their farmer members, and in 2015 they announced that they have achieved comparable levels with those in the conventional market. According to the managing director of OMSCo their latest round of testing, one year on from their initial milestone, has shown that they are retaining those level.
Further, he explains that, due to nature of organic dairying, in which cows are fed with more grass diet with lower levels of concentrate, compared to their conventional sector which can be supplemented with minerals, such as iodine, this has attributed to lower level of iodine in organic milk. Nevertheless, OMSCo has worked closely with their 250 members over the recent years to increase the level of iodine in organic milk, and their efforts are successful.
The testing, was undertaken by independent researchers, over a continued period using bottled milk from a variety of retailers all over the UK. The health benefits of organic milk have always been well accepted and include increased levels of beneficial vitamin E, beta carotene and omega-3 fatty acids. But levels of iodine have been under rising inspection given that the UK, contrast to many other countries, does not iodise salt or legislate for the supplementation of key foodstuffs with this important trace element.
OMSCo have now sustained iodine levels that are consistent with the conventional market, and improved on-farm performance resulting from improved levels of the other trace elements monitored through the project. UK’s more than 65% of organic milk supply is represented by a farmer-owned co-op, and the second largest committed organic dairy pool in the world, this has been a critical step to raise and maintain iodine levels.
With this improvement their will we ensure supply of organic milk with all the beneficial nutrients provided by their conventional counterparts. Moreover, OMSCo continuous efforts to monitor levels of iodine and other trace elements carefully, along with their members will confirm that they supply their customers with a sustainable, nutritious and quality product.